Do You Schedule or Plan Family Nights?

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I remember long ago, back before I had children or when my oldest was just a toddler, listening to parenting programs that talked about Family Nights. Movies, games, read alouds, crafts — all were described in such intentional detail. Some families even had a set night every week when they spent time together as a family.

While I’d like to say, “Every night is family night around here,” that isn’t quite accurate. We do plenty of fun things around here, don’t get me wrong. But, to have a set night of the week for fun and frolic? No, that doesn’t really happen.

For years I felt bad about it, too. I have no clue how that expectation entered my consciousness but it did. But, I don’t worry about it anymore.

We do what we can. We enjoy Pizza on most Friday nights, but not all. And we usually have a movie, but not always.

The other fun moments, like a marathon game of Monopoly or a craft night are of the spontaneous variety. It’s possible that in another season, possibly when big boys have jobs and outside obligations, I’ll want to have a set night to pin everyone down. In the meantime, this works for us.

What works for you?

Do you plan or schedule Family Night? What do you do to enjoy time as a family?

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  1. We have “Movie Night” most Fridays, and sometimes replace the movie with games. Otherwise, though family time is just dinner time, or whenever we all happen to be in a room together.

  2. we dont have a set night. we spend a lot time together anyways. one of the kids will ask if anyone wants toplay a board game, cards, or a movie and it just spawns from that point.

  3. We have two tween girls at home (almost 14 and just turned 12) and they still love game night. A random weeknight or a late-night weekend evening, it doesn’t matter. It is nice to just sit back and have some laughs with them, and enjoy the the fact that they still LIKE us!!

  4. I say the same thing all the time!! “family night is every night!!” HA and I feel the same way, just because most or all of us are “home” it does not mean we are together doing something character building. And It concerns me that if it is that hard to plan stuff while they arent teenagers, how much harder it will be to implement something when they are and someone is always gone at night. Youth groups and evening bible studies are just around the corner. Movies and dinner with friends etc will eat away from the precious evening time with our family. Where do you draw the line? to what do you say “no” or “yes you can go” to? I have friends living this right now and it scares me! Maybe we really need to get something immovable on the books now so that when the time comes we will already be in the habit of thursday night is family night or some such thing. I mean if we plan a date night every blue moon, then we should put at tleast as much time and effort into a family night!

  5. I felt the same way and we settled on Pizza Movie Friday Night also! It is amazing how well the kids have responded and love and ask for it every week. They really do love a routine.

  6. Friday night is date night for mom & dad and Saturday night is family night! Now that the weather is cooling in Phx, we’re trying a family day tomorrow. Family Saturday has worked very well. The kiddos pick a movie, the meal, and get loved on by both mom and dad at the same time. It works well for our family of 6 to have a specific night picked out.

  7. We had a spontaneous family night last night. Our youngest ones were in pj’s early and we had about half an hour to kill. So, I put on my pj’s too and we had a “pajama jama” and danced, spun and giggled to songs on my husband’s ipod. Our older kids joined in after hearing all the fun coming from the other room. My husband did a crack up robot and some form of break dance move too. It was good exercise and lots of fun. We ended with a couple of slow songs and those littles were ready for bed…well as ready as a three and four year old can be!
    We ususally do a movie on Friday nights too. It was fun to do something different and then still watch a movie after the youngest ones were in bed.

  8. I always felt kind of bad about not having a set Family Game Nite or something like that, but we have a lot of family time, so I have let go of that guilt. Usually Tuesdays we go to Kids eat free night at Chicfila with another family, Monay and Friday are wrestling nights so we are all together. Weekends we do lots of outings or just hang out. The one thing I would like are date nights with dh, but we have no sitters, no $$, so that doesn’t happen. We are always with the kids though.

  9. We try to do family night each monday (lately it’s been sunday with my hubby in class monday nights) and my boys love it. They remind us if we forget and it’s a big deal!

  10. My dh works 24 hour shifts and is on call a lot for his job, but is guaranteed every other weekend off. So we plan at least one weekend every month to go camping, even in winter. My kids love it. On the Saturdays, we like to go to car shows in our 66 mustang then watch movies in the evening.

  11. We spend a lot of time together and do a lot of activities and have movie nights, but Monday night we have Family Home Evening as counseled by our church leaders ( Mormon/Latter-day Saints). We also plan to be home that night– no outside scheduled activities. The kids love it. We have a rotation of who does what– conducting, opening and closing prayers, opening and closing songs, lesson, game and sometimes a treat. When they were really little, it only took about 5-10 minutes, now we go for about 30 min. It is a great time to talk about the gospel and it gives the kids a chance to teach and participate too. Very good thing!!

  12. Every Monday is our set family night. We take the phones off the hook and spend the time planning the week’s activities, meal planning, scripture study, and then the all time favorite activity of Charades and dessert.
    Monday night sets are week in the right direction.

  13. we often do theme nights – movie/dinner night every couple of weeks; game night (prob. once a month); bw3 night (we love this restaurant and we play the buzztime trivia together as a family); and my favorite during the fall – Appetizer Saturdays!

    We like to have our Fall Saturdays open to play with friends, watch football and *try* to get some household tasks done. Instead of worrying about a set meal – I make up several munchies (or leftovers…!) and put them out to eat as we get hungry – creates a “party” atmosphere – and everyone is happy to eat when they want!